Morio Matsui was born in Toyohashi, Aichi. He studied at the Musashino College of Fine Art in Tokyo. In 1967, he moved to Paris, on a French government scholarship. He continued his studies at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Matsui was made Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2000,and was awarded France’s Legion of Honour medal in 2003.